Monday, December 31, 2007

The power of the state is ugly

Occasionally something will drive me to blink back tears of sadness and frustration.

The story of the malformed baby from Samoa is one such case.

The community raised $100,000 to get her to NZ after a plastic surgeon said it was worth having a look at what might be done for her. The Immigration Department, after taking their own advice, refused her entry to New Zealand.

Nobody is asking the government for money. A young baby has zero chance of becoming an over-stayer. All her parents want is a definitive assessment which they cannot get in Samoa. But Immigration says the child cannot enter the country.

Witness the power of the state at its worst.

Today's Taranaki Herald has written on the subject. Well said;

Miracle baby deserves our help
Taranaki | Monday, 31 December 2007

Rules, rules, rules.

Some people and organisations live by them and follow them to the very letter. And not even Christmas or compassion can sway them from adherence to that tight, strict path, says the Taranaki Daily News

Our immigration department is one such organisation.

Even though it has been revealed to be extraordinarily incompetent in its application of those rules, with largesse and officiousness thrown around in equal abandon when it considers cases involving Pacific Islanders, there's still no room for leniency for a little girl named Miracletina.

She's a four-month-old baby born in Samoa with incredible, pitiful deformities: no top to her brain, no eyeballs, a double cleft palate, no fingers, deformed feet and spina bifida.

It's a miracle that she has survived, and family have fed the baby girl against doctors' advice. But not only has she survived, she is healthy, can raise her head and responds to family members.

Now she needs our help.

And we have slammed the door. Thanks, but no thanks. Sorry, says our immigration department, we've looked at your case and it doesn't meet our criteria. Nothing we can provide will do any good.

Fair enough, you say. Our hospitals and medical specialists are over-burdened enough, without taking on the cases of other nations' citizens, no matter how touching and needful.

But these are not people coming to us for a handout. This is not a family and a community who have simply tossed their hands into the air and said they've done all they can do and now it's up to someone else to sort out the mess.

The family have raised the not insignificant sum of $103,000 in the Baby Miracle Appeal in Samoa and New Zealand. That's people in this country who have pledged to help this child, this family to deal with what is an awful misfortune; helped towards a campaign to send this unfortunate child and her family to New Zealand, if even just for an examination.

But still our officials say no.

We believe that's not on, and the immigration officials need to take a cold, hard look at themselves.

This family doesn't want charity, although they definitely deserve it.

They have made a huge effort to help themselves, which already puts them above the many others in this country happy to get something for nothing.

This family is saying to New Zealand that there is something you can provide that will be of some good.

And that's hope.

Given what we have in this country compared to what's available in many Pacific Islands, surely that's not too much to ask, is it?


KG said...

We don't employ these rotten bureaucrats for blind, idiotic decisions such as this. I'll resist the urge to rant, but by God I'd dearly love to see one of them in the same position as the poor parents of this kid.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but have to disagree . This is another example of society interfering with nature and the medical fraternity being expected to provide miracle cures . Too often we are seeing medical procedures carried out "because we can" rather than from any expectation of a decent outcome . In this case you have a family that ignored medical advise when it suited them and now want society to pay for the consequences. $103k wouldnt go close to covering the costs ongoing for what you are suggesting. And Yes it is about money ! We cannot afford to cover every medical condition so why not use some sense and apply the resources where they do most good !

I would also be quite happy for the next 55 year old beer swilling , cigarette puffing , pie munching wanker to be denied his expected triple bypass and extra 2-3 years of bludging off the state as well

Lindsay Mitchell said...

No I didn't suggest covering ongoing costs.

I argued they should be able to get the assessment they have raised the money for.

Anything else is another debate.

And if a "55 year old beer swilling ,cigarette puffing , pie munching wanker" needs a triple bypass and has been forced to pay tax for a public health system all his working life, on what grounds do you deny him??

If you don't like the fact his behaviour has quite probably caused his condition then vote for a private health system paid for through personal insurance. Let him fund his own costs. Let him be responsible for his own health outcomes.

Anonymous said...

This is one of those cases where HL Mencken said decent people are tempted to run up the black flag and start slitting throats.

As for the rubbish of “society interfering with nature” -- thank god for it. Nature is vicious and cruel and needs to get slapped around regularly. Anyone wearing eye glasses is interfering with nature. But then is anyone who drives, wear clothes, uses a stove to cook or lives in a building. The worship of nature, whether coming from morons on the Right or Green human-haters on the Left, is a deadly philosophy.

KG said...

arbor, I assume then that you'd only be happy to see those who conform to some utopian standard of healthy behaviour benefit from the taxes all working people pay for health care?
Well, that's one way to empty hospitals.
Another way might be to deny care to all those people on welfare who don't pay taxes.
Don't forget the obese, a great many of whom got that way through lack of exercise and excess food intake.
And it'd be a good idea to screen mental patients as well--after all, some of them have problems caused by drug use.
As Lindsay points out, we pay taxes for a public health system. If you want to deny certain people health care then of course you're in favour of refunding that portion of their taxes? hmm?

KG said...

An afterthought--I'm 60+ years old, smoke and drink *gasp* beer, and have been in hospital ONCE in the past forty years, and that due to an accident.
So I ought to get a bloody refund after all those years paying for the medical care of others.